We have seen that an adverb clause is a type of dependent clauses which does the work of an adverb. It may, therefore, modify some verb, adjective, or adverb in a complex sentence; as,

  • Strike the iron while it is hot.

  • You are taller than I thought.

  • He ran so quickly that he soon overtook me.

Adverb clauses are of many kinds and may be classified as follows:

  1. Adverb clauses of time

  2. Adverb clauses of place

  3. Adverb clauses of purpose

  4. Adverb clauses of cause or reason

  5. Adverb clauses of condition

  6. Adverb clauses of result

  7. Adverb clauses of comparison

  8. Adverb clauses of supposition or concession

1. Adverb Clauses of Time

Adverb clauses of time are introduced by the subordinating conjunctions whenever, while, after, before, since, as, etc.

  • When you have finished your work you may leave.

  • Don’t talk loud while she is singing.

  • I will do it when I think fit.

  • They were commanded to wait till the signal was given.

  • He came after night had fallen.

  • Do it before you forget.

  • I have not been well since I returned from London.

  • There was silence as the leader spoke

  • The doctor always comes whenever he is sent for.

  • The world always will be the same so long as men are men.

  • As soon as he heard the news he wrote to me.

  • Just as he entered the room the clock struck.

  • No sooner did he see us than he disappeared

2. Adverb Clauses of Place

Adverb Clauses of Place are introduced by the subordinating conjunctions where and whereas,

  • I have put it where I can find again.

  • They can stay where they are.

  • Where you live I will live.

  • He led the caravan wherever he wanted to go.

  • Let him be arrested wherever he may be found.

In order English whence and whither were also used to introduce an adverb clause of place:

  • Go quickly whence you came

  • The wind beloweth whether it listeth

3. Adverb Clauses of Purpose

Adverb clauses of purpose are introduced by the subordinating conjunctions so that, in order that, and lest. (In order that and lest are used in a formal style.)

  • I will give you a map so that you can find the way.

  • We eat so that we may live.

  • The UNO was formed in order that countries might discuss world problems better.

  • He was extra polite to his superiors lest something adverse should be written into his records.

  • Sleep not lest your Lord come in the night.

The conjunction that occurred in older English:

  • He drew the sword that he might defend himself.

  • Come hither that I may bless thee.

4. Adverb Clauses of Cause or Reason

Adverb clauses of cause or reason are introduced by the subordinating conjunctions because, as, since, that.

  • I am glad that you like it.

  • Since you are so clever you will be able to explain this.

  • He thinks, because he is rich, he can buy justice

  • Because I like you, I shall help you.

  • I did it because I wanted to.

  • I did not buy it because I did not like the look of it.

  • Since your father is not at home, I will ask you to take the message.

  • Since you swear to serve me faithfully, I will employ you.

  • He was very pleased that you have passed.

5. Adverb Clauses of Condition

Adverb clauses of condition are introduced by the subordinating conjunctions if, whether, unless.

  • Whether the Rajah gives him blows or money, he will speak the truth.

  • You must go whether you hear from him or not.

  • I shall forgive you on condition that you do not repeat the offense.

  • If I like it, I shall buy it. Come if you wish to.

  • If it rains we shall stay at home.

  • If you have tears, prepare to shed them now.

  • Unless you work harder you will fail.

  • I can’t pay it unless he sends me the bill again.

Sometimes the subordinating conjunction is omitted in adverb clauses of condition; as,

  • Had I not seen this from my own eyes I would not have believed it.

  • Had I the wings of a bird I would fly away.

  • He would be happier were he honester

  • Were an angel to tell me such a thing of you, I would not believe it.

  • What would you answer did I ask you such a question?

Adverb clauses of condition are sometimes introduced by a relative pronoun, or adjective, or adverb (without any antecedent); as,

  • Whichever road we take we shall be too late.

  • Whatever may be the result, I shall refuse.

  • Whatever happens keep calm.

  • Don’t annoy him whatever you do.

  • However cleverly you may cheat, you will be found at last.

6. Adverb Clauses of Result

Adverb clauses of result or consequence are introduced by the subordinating conjunction that. Frequently so or such precedes it in the principal clause.

  • He is such a good man that all respect him.

  • The Romans built in such a way that their walls are still standing.

  • He spoke in such a low voice that few could hear him.

  • So terrible a disease broke out that very few people survived.

  • Very heavy rain fell so that the rivers were soon in flood.

  • Laws were quickly passed so that this abuse was checked.

  • He behaved in such a manner that his reputation suffered

  • So cold was it that many died.

The Subordinating Conjunction that is often dropped in informal English.

  • He was so weak he could not speak.

  • I am so deaf I cannot hear thunder

  • It was so late I waited no longer

  • He is so old he can hardly walk

  • It was so small I could not see it.

7. Adverb Clauses of Comparison

Adverb Clauses of Comparison are of two kinds:

 (i)  Adverb Clauses of Comparison of Degree

 (ii) Adverb Clauses of Comparison of Manner

Adverb clauses of comparison of degree are introduced by the subordinating conjunction than, or by the relative adverb as; as,

  • He is older than he looks.

  • No one can run faster than Rama.

  • It is later than I thought.

  • You must work harder than I do.

  • He is as stupid as he is lazy

  • He is not so clever as you think.

The verb of the adverb clause of comparison of degree is often understood and not expressed; as,

  • Nobody knows it better than I [do]

  • Few are better leaders than he [is]

  • You like curry better than I [like it]

  • It will happen as sure as death [is sure]

  • Not many know the truth of this better than you [know it]

Adverb clauses of comparison of manner are introduced by the relative adverb as; as,

  • You may do as you please.

  • It all ended as I expected.

  • As you have made your bed so you must lie on it.

  • As he has lived so will he die.

  • As the twig is bent the branch will grow.

8. Adverb Clauses of Supposition or Concession

Adverb Clauses Supposition or Concession are introduced by the Subordinating Conjunctions though, although, even if.

  • Though I am poor I am honest.

  • Though the heavens fall, justice must be done.

  • Though He slay me yet will I love Him.

  • He set sail though the storm threatened.

  • Although troops had marched all day they fought bravely all night.

  • I shall be able to get in although I have no ticket.

  • Even if he is old he is able to do a great deal of work.

  • I would not do it even if you paid me.

Complex Sentence: Adverb Clauses
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